Photographer's Note

As I’ve mentioned earlier, the Black Forest is not only about nature, Black Forest is also source of renewable energy in form of hydropower.

Since the hydropower stations generate electricity solely from the energy contained in water, they must be located close to running water. The water is first backed up using a weir and then released on a controlled basis. To achieve a higher flow speed and thus increase the energy of the water, hydropower stations are also often located in mountain areas.

Compared to a coal or gas-fired power station, the energy conversion chain in a hydropower station is very short. The energy loss with hydropower generation is similarly low, which gives hydropower stations a high efficiency rating. Their turbines and generators can convert up to 90% of the usable water power into electricity.

On this photo you can see the see Hausern Hydro Power Plant which is part of the Schluchsee hydropower station complex (first, top stage) which has a number of reservoirs of different heights linked by pumping stations with average power generating capacity of 500MW (total in three stages).

It is important to say that I’ve taken this photo during rather low water period with the turbine-generators under scheduled service works.

Out of 500MW, Hausern (built in 1931) is producing 100MW, the second stage at Witznau (built in 1943) 250MW and the third, bottom stage at Waldshut (built in 1951) 150MW. The exhausted water from Wadshut plant is directly channeled to the Rhine River.

All three stages are served with water from Schluchsee reservoir which is located 930m above sea level. The whole system is fed by water from Black Forest streams and also by snow melting water during spring season. The pressure head (slope height difference) of the all three stages is 620meters (i.e. 62 bars).

During low network power demand and high power excess from large base load power stations the water can be pumped back from each stage reservoir to next higher placed reservoir, accumulating precious water energy for high peak and/or emergency power demand.

The generating-pumping mode can be switched only within 90 second, so the power generation can be stopped in shortest time and water can be pumped back to next higher basin (reservoir). No other power generation system can be adjusted so quickly as this one.

Should you have any questions related to this photo, or power generation systems, do not hesitate to ask me. I'll try to answer as far as I'll be able to.

kato, snunney, shreya2000, delpeoples, nikkitta, ikeharel has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Miro Susta (mirosu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1573 W: 0 N: 3418] (16295)
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